Hi, I’m Joshua!
You may remember me from my impassioned polemics on spiritual issues, which lovingly deconstructed the problematic tenets of a faith I learned in childhood. If not, perhaps you recall my dense, high-concept collaborative art projects? Or maybe you don’t know about any of these — because the majority of my work was, quite simply, not worth your time.
Of course, it was still worth mine. I started this blog because I was tired of hiding my voice. So I dared to explore issues that others were either too fearful to address or too falsely confident to consider. I walked a narrow middle path between rational and emotional extremes, searching for the gentle nuance of truth. But with a few notable exceptions, this process absolutely, relentlessly sucked.
Why? In spite of all my painstaking words, I was still too afraid to *simply* use my voice.
The reason most people don’t speak freely is that words have consequences. Sometimes, those consequences will be genuinely your fault – which would then necessitate you taking responsibility (and let’s face it, nobody wants that). Other times, you may tap into a truth that really resonates… but even that tends to anger far more people than it inspires. And it never pays the bills.
Even so, the main reason I couldn’t speak simply was my complex, unresolved relationship with Christianity: basically, it’s my abusive, codependent ex-husband. Every time he yells “You’ll burn in hell for leaving me!” I unfortunately still believe him.
Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome? Or maybe it’s because most people tell me he’s actually right. Maybe I ought to have stronger boundaries against those people — I don’t, though, because I’m too damn empathetic to shut them out. So instead, I waste my time and energy desperately rationalizing my life to them, instead of simply walking away.
This isn’t all bad, of course. By excelling in philosophy and religious studies, I got to learn far more than the educators of my youth. Unfortunately, that knowledge was too nuanced to easily communicate back. I tried anyway, of course – because if I could just convince the Church that their modern theology was absurdly wrong, then they would have to change and accept me – and maybe even love me again!
Ugh… WHY?! Why bother at all?
Why waste your life convincing a controlling, close-minded ex-lover about the reality of your own damn existence? It took me two years of dense blogging and high-concept artistic projects to realize that was a really, really unnecessary thing to do. But friends, all of that is about to change. In fact, it already has.
Now, I’m trying to look forward instead of looking back. I’m actively trying not to care when people who have never once explored an alternate perspective tell me (with red faces and clenched fists) their provincial, patriarchal wisdom was right all along…
And instead, I’m going to focus on helping people in a simpler way: by using my own authentic fucking voice. And in doing so, I hope to teach you to use your own voice.
Stop letting others use their big, angry emotions to scare you into silence! Who cares if they’re offended (especially if they use that as an excuse to be abusive — if so, run like hell and don’t look back). Stop being afraid to ask questions that make others anxious. Stop being afraid to confront authority, and for the love of God, stop worrying about hurting their feelings! You can’t control their feelings — but you should realize they are desperately trying to control yours.
And guess what? If they aren’t a total asshole, they can always use their own voice to communicate their needs politely back to you. Maybe you’ll even get lucky and engage in a constructive dialogue with them — maybe you’ll both grow from that! Maybe not.
As for me – now that I’m over my “ex” – I’ve decided to re-focus my creative energies. Mostly, this means I’ll spend less time writing about what sucks and more time loving what I love. That’s mostly music, which seems so much simpler now (joyful, even). But beyond that, in the abyssal unknown of spirit, lies an even deeper love…
This blog’s original objective remains unchanged: spiritual unity in spite of religious division. Because brother, if there’s anything I know well, it’s spirit.
I was raised Pentecostal, after all. I can even speak in tongues — and I’ve had a lifelong obsession with spiritual experiences because of it. I’ve studied their appearances in cultures all over the world, and even learned to invoke them myself.
To me, spirituality is the most exciting aspect of being human. And while I love the philosophers and the scientists who study it, I adore the mystics themselves. It’s one thing to observe an experience, and quite another to have one. Just talking about it makes me reel with excitement. And I can’t think of a more deliciously controversial topic of intrigue… so, this year, I’m going in deep.
Already, I’ve got five (ish) chakras open and aligned. I’m planning a trip to India, practicing kundalini and tantric yoga daily, moving freely with the Dao, researching chaos magick and shamanic healing, channeling the unseen through automatic writing, and dancing passionately while totally entranced. Basically, I’m a few months shy of being a tarot-reading, spell-casting witch of the woods.
Honestly, it’s all super sexy — especially when coupled with my B.S. in Philosophy (how appropriate)! So, if you want to witness the psycho-spiritual adventures of a sexy, skeptical pragmatist – stay tuned for one hell of a ride.